Written by Terry Haskell & R.J. Joseph


KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN chronicles twenty years in the life of African American Oliver Jackson, from a talented young golf caddie growing up in segregated Georgia to a troubled Vietnam War hero returning to a changed America; and finally, as the extraordinary champion he was meant to be. 


Bright sunshine bathes a pristine Georgia golf course.  The slow arc of a 1-wood connects with a gleaming white ball, hurling it skyward with a thunderous crack. The sound merges with the boom of an artillery flare, and we’re suddenly transported to the darkness of a Vietnam jungle.

It’s August 11, 1969, OLIVER JACKSON, a nineteen year old African American soldier, lies wounded amidst the aftermath of a horrific firefight.  His team’s sole survivor, Oliver, will eventually be captured by insurgent Vietcong and forced to spend the next five years in grueling conditions as an unsanctioned POW.

Before he’s discovered by his captors, he slips into unconsciousness, dreaming of his childhood in Georgia.  It’s nine years earlier as we watch ten-year-old Oliver swan dive into a clear blue pond, determined to retrieve as many water-trapped golf balls as he can to sell outside a nearby country club.  

The boy’s natural ambition and smarts catch the eye of THE GENERAL. Ignoring his club’s segregation policy with impunity, the formidable patron hires Oliver as his caddie, sparking the boy’s passion for the game and fascination with the wisdoms it reveals about life. 

From 1960 to 1977, against the backdrop of monumental shifts in American sentiment about patriotism, government and civil rights, Oliver navigates his way through a racist South and a bewildering, anguished Vietnam.  All the while, he tries to balance the love, convictions, good intentions, and grave mistakes of two very different paternal figures: The powerful white General, and LEWIS, Oliver’s own “Pa,” whose views have been shaped by a lifetime of disappointments. 

During this era of immense challenges and great awakenings, Oliver must face the complex, nature of Truth, Heroism and Family.  In order to survive, he relies on what he learned on that Georgia golf course years before. Shedding both idealism and cynicism, Oliver at last accepts his own unique heroism, reignites his passions and embraces life as the complicated, chaotic wonder that it is.